Offense Deflates In Windy City, Rays Fall 3-2 To Cubs

Rays Outburst Tamed By Wind, Bullpen Falters Late

The Tampa Bay Rays lost their series finale to the Chicago Cubs on Sunday afternoon in a windy affair.  The loss drops the Rays back to three games under .500 at 57-60 and they fall 6.5-games behind the streaking Kansas City Royals who won their seventh contest in a row.


Alex Cobb was solid allowing just one run  on six hits over  six innings striking out six and walking none.  His effort was matched by the Cubs Travis Wood who allowed one run (unearned) on four hits while striking out five and walking three.

The Rays jumped ahead 1-0 in the top of the fifth inning when Desmond Jennings sent a slow roller to Javier Baez who threw wildly to first which allowed Curt Casali to come in to score from second.

The Cubs came back to tie the game in their half of the fifth on a Javier Baez single that scored Travis Wood.

The Rays regained a 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh on Desmond Jennings double that scored Brandon Guyer.  In the final box score the Rays offense appears to have struggled putting up just two runs on eight hits in 12-innings but the top of the seventh inning could have been big if not for a robust wind coming off the shores of Lake Michigan.

All during the day the Rays sent numerous fly balls deep into the outfield only to fall safely into the confines of the Cubs outfielders glove, but in the seventh inning the magnitude of the blasts can not be understated. First Evan Longoria sent a rocket to centerfield that got caught in the wind and was tracked down by Arismendy Alcantara.

Sean Rodriguez followed Longoria with a ball that may have gone 420 feet on a day with no wind but once again the ball hit a wall of air and fell harmlessly into the glove of left fielder Chris Coghlan

Under normal circumstances the Rays would turn to Joel Peralta, Brad Boxberger, and Jake McGee to close the game but McGee had worked the last two days and was available for emergency only.

This meant turning the ball over to the much maligned Grant Balfour who gave up a 2-out double and RBI triple to Chris Coghlan as the Cubs tied the game. Kirby Yates came in and recorded the last out of the seventh.

Joel Peralta worked a scoreless eighth and Brad Boxberger worked two scoreless innings striking out five.  Cesar Ramos (2-4, 3,93 ERA) came in and allowed the game winning hit by Anthony Rizzo that scored Ryan Sweeney. The win goes to Carlos Villanueva (5-6, 5.11 ERA) who worked a scoreless top of the 12th for the Cubs.

The Rays move on to Texas for a four game series which begins tonight at 8:05 p.m. Drew Smyly (6-10, 3.98 ERA) takes the mound for his second start for the Rays and he will be opposed by Colby Lewis (8-8, 5.50 ERA).


I am a fan of all sports but am most passionate about baseball. From the fanatical to analytical, nothing about the game escapes me. Being born and raised in Northeast Ohio I'm very familiar with the heartache and pain that sports can bring and hope that I bring some understanding of the other side to my coverage. I will focus mostly on baseball but also cover the Tampa Bay Lightning, one of the most electric franchises in all of sports. Always willing to converse about any sport and have only one rule and that is be respectful at all times.